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  • CANADA LIFE

    Crawford’s Canada life: Still a lot to play for

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  • Editor’s Note: Canada Life Series player Aaron Crawford has been keeping a weekly diary, sharing his thoughts about experiences playing in these four Canadian events. This week, Crawford reflects on the Series’ first three tournaments and what he still has to play for with one tournament remaining on the schedule.

    After a week at home, I arrived in Toronto two Saturdays ago to get ready for the third Canada Life Series tournament. Honestly, the whole TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley complex is just awesome. There are three courses here, and they all look like they’re world-class. I honestly really want to come out here and play more golf in the coming years.

    This was a Wednesday-to-Friday tournament last week, and on the first day, I had a morning tee time. Looking back, maybe I didn’t have the best warm-up in the world. I headed to the first tee, probably not as awake as I should have been. I didn’t get off to the best start. I was plus-3 on the front nine, and I was thinking, Well, time to crawl my way back. That’s what I did. I ended up shooting 3-under on the back nine and salvaged that round.

    On Thursday, things were going pretty much how I needed them to. I was 3-under through four holes. They were all downwind, left-to-right holes, and I took advantage. On the next eight holes, we played back into the wind until we got to hole 12. I did well when I needed to in that round, trying to get some momentum going, and I tried holding onto that for the rest of the day. That 5-under 66 I shot was my best round of the eight I have played in this Series.
    Going into the last round, I was T6 and in contention. The conditions were really hard. There was a different wind direction than on the first two days. It was a little more coming from the west instead of being south-southwest, which shouldn’t sound like a whole lot, but when it’s blowing 45 mph (72 kpm), it’s a big difference. Trust me.

    I wasn’t hitting it well at all. I was having struggles getting it in play off the tee, and I tried to salvage my round a little by getting up and down and making some putts. I probably sunk 60 feet worth of par putts on the day, which isn’t ever good, but it’s not all that bad if they’re going in. I had a couple of blow-up holes on the back nine (double bogeys on the 13th and 16th), but unfortunately that’s how golf goes sometimes. When you’re trying to figure out your swing, and then trying to have the ball go straight in a lot of wind, it’s tough to find a solution. You don’t always get the feedback you’re looking for.

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    We are all chasing that spot in the RBC Canadian Open. Because of my play in Victoria in the first two tournaments, I knew I probably had to finish top two to have any shot at that. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t play better the last day (tied for 16th) to give me a shot at getting that spot. Obviously, there’s still a lot to play for, and I feel like I’ve figured out what wasn’t working for me last week, so I’ll be ready to go this Wednesday.

    It's been a good week up here, even with my disappointing final round. When I flew into Toronto, my flight was about 80-percent full. That wasn’t too bad because I didn’t have anyone seated beside me, and that’s always nice. Of course, I was in row 27 of 28. I’m really not sure who gets good seats on planes nowadays because it’s never me. Luckily, I had a window seat. I think I slept the whole flight. I’m pretty good at that. One minute I’m sitting there waiting for the flight to take off, and then the next thing I’m sleeping.

    Once I arrived in Toronto, I had some rental car issues. I had similar problems in Vancouver. At 7:30 p.m., I flew into Terminal 3, and I thought my rental car was at Terminal 1, so I caught the train over there. Apparently, I’d booked a rental car off-property, so I called an Uber for a five-minute drive from the airport. I ended up being a half-hour late, arriving after the counter closed. So, I got the Uber to drive me back to the airport to rent another car. It ended up costing me a couple-hundred bucks extra to do it there, but at least I had a car. It was probably a good hour and a half of figuring out where to go and the best course of action. I figured if that was the worst thing to happen, then I should be just fine.

    Since arriving here, I’ve been staying with James Seymour’s family at his house in Aurora, about 30 miles from downtown Toronto and a little less than 50 to Caledon and TPC Toronto. The Seymours have sure fed me well! On Sunday night, we had some chicken and rice, and on Tuesday, we got a really good-looking steak and some asparagus and potatoes. It was fantastic. James’ family actually eats food similar to what my family eats back home, so I fit right in.

    The drive to TPC Toronto is bit of a distance, but it’s an easy drive on a bunch of backroads with very little traffic. When you’re around Toronto, and you can get around traffic, it’s usually a pretty good thing. TPC Toronto is a great golf course.

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    When I haven’t been at TPC Toronto, I’ve been hitting a lot of courses in the area. We will play some nice golf courses in the next couple of days. On Sunday, I played at King Valley Golf Club, and on Monday, we are playing Beacon Hall. My friends feel like because I’m here in Toronto, I should play as many of their golf courses that I can. On Saturday night, I had two other golfers, Gianfranco Guida and Zach Giusti, as well as James’ brother Tom and his girlfriend, over to watch the Raptors playoff game.

    The day before the final event of the season, I’m going to be part of a pro-am at TPC Toronto that the Mackenzie Tour has set up. I’ve done a few pro-ams before, and I think they’re a lot of fun. It’s a relaxed day of golf, and everyone’s there to have a good time and some fun. It will be nice to see the course one more time before the final tournament starts on Wednesday. It’s hard to believe this four-tournament Series is just about done.